By Lorraine Mirabella
The Baltimore Sun
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) As columnist Lorraine Mirabella reports, “Under Armour joins a long list of companies forced to confront inappropriate behavior and discriminatory policies in a #MeToo climate where employees feel more emboldened to speak out.”
The Baltimore Sun
Under Armour has been working for nearly two years to turn around its faltering business. Now, the Baltimore-based company acknowledges it needs to transform its corporate culture as well, so it can stand up to scrutiny of the #MeToo movement.
The once predominantly men’s brand with deep roots in football has aggressively courted women in recent years, but found itself the subject of unwanted attention last week after it was disclosed employees were allowed to charge strip club visits and other adult entertainment to expense accounts. The Wall Street Journal reported that Under Armour ended that practice only this year and went on to say the company fostered a workplace culture in other ways too that was demeaning to female employees.
Under Armour declined Friday to elaborate on a statement issued earlier last week saying it has addressed “serious allegations of the past,” and will continue to address behavior in the workplace that violates policies.
“Inappropriate behavior that challenges our values or violates our policies is unacceptable, and will not be tolerated,” the company said. “We are committed to providing a respectful and inclusive workplace.”
But the damage may be done, analysts and observers said.
“Hearing and reading about these things is often a turnoff for women consumers and is very much against the culture of the time,” said Neil Saunders, a managing director for retail of New York-based GlobalData.
Under Armour joins a long list of companies forced to confront inappropriate behavior and discriminatory policies in a #MeToo climate where employees feel more emboldened to speak out and “activist” employees are demanding accountability, experts say.